Motorists have been warned about road closures over the weekend as more than 120000 ANC members flock to Buffalo City Stadium for the party’s annual birthday celebrations.Roads around the stadium will be closed from 5pm on Friday, January 12 until Saturday, January 13 5pm as thousands are expected to make their way to the sports field to listen to new ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Buffalo City Metro mayor Xola Pakati has requested residents and motorists to be patient with the crowds in the arena.
An advertisement signed by BCM city manager Andile Sihlahla issued in the Daily Dispatch today identifies the affected roads as Recreation Road at Lambert, Commercial and Dyer streets; and Brill Street at Tilney and Mill streets.
Buffalo City Metro spokesman Samkelo Ngwenya said: “We have ticked all the boxes and we are ready to deliver an incident-free event.
“Our safety and security agencies are ready…we are on standby for any eventuality. People will be greeted with friendly faces, a stern police force and an atmosphere that reflects both the magnitude and spirit of the event.”
While businesses operating in the vicinity welcomed the road closures, the metro apologised for the inconvenience caused.
North and Robertson electrical wholesalers director Paddy De Lacy said they were happy to make way for the ANC celebrations, which were bringing business and a positive energy to the city.
“It’s not like the roads are closed off regularly – about three times a year, for sport events at times, and it’s not a problem because we are not denied access when we need to get to the store and on Saturdays we operate on call-outs anyway.
“The celebrations have come with a lot of benefits for the same roads which we are happy about; the potholes have been fixed, the grass on the pavement has been cut and gutters have been cleaned, things we usually do ourselves. It has brought a lot of positive energy and a nice vibe, so it really is something to be excited about, it’s not a hindrance,” he said.
Industrial welding suppliers and plant hire manager Dennis Botha said the celebrations were being held at a quiet time – while most of industry was still on holiday.
“It’s a Catch-22 really because it’s still quiet. Business is only expected to kick off after the 15th, which is when the industry officially opens, but in the same breath, the few thousand rands we could be generating over the day could go a long way, but we’ve decided to close because it makes no sense to stay open when our clients can’t get to us.”
Botha expressed concern over the use of the Buffalo City Stadium, stating that it was much smaller than Buffalo Park. “It would be ideal if they used Buffalo Park because it can accommodate more people and it wouldn’t be in the way of any businesses.” — email@example.com